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Thursday, September 3, 2009

MIAC Report vetted at hearing

Press Release - Missouri Campaign For Liberty members testify at House committee hearing on MIAC

 
Posted by Paul Hamby on 09/01/09 01:08 AM

For Immediate release: Monday August 31, 2009

The Missouri House Interim Committee on State Intelligence Analysis Oversight met today in Grandview Missouri. The committee chaired by Rep Bob Dixon and co-chaired by Rep Jim Guest heard testimony from citizens concerned with the MIAC report released last spring by the Missouri Highway Patrol Fusion Center.

Grandview Alderman Mike Furgason testified his concern that MIAC has no oversight and suggested the state legislature should set up an oversight committee. "Someone needs to read and approve these reports before they are released"

The committee is charged with taking recommendations back to the legislature regarding the MIAC, Missouri Information Analysis Center. Last spring, the MIAC garnered national attention when a report was leaked to the news media. That report profiled many Missouri citizens as potential Militia Members. The report profiled gun owners, Christians, home schoolers, constitutionalists and implied that persons who displayed a Gadsden Flag or bumper stickers of Presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr or Chuck Baldwin were persons of interest for law enforcement to watch out for. Constitution party Vice Presidential candidate Darrell Castle testified at Monday's hearing. He expressed concern that his parties members simply want our federal government to follow the constitution and the members were unfairly lumped with people who are true threats to society. When asked what the solution was, he recommended eliminating the MIAC department completely. Castle testified that the Federal Government has gone well beyond its mandate in the US Constitution. That theme that the federal government is not abiding by the 10th amendment of the constitution was a concern of several citizens and at least 4 of the legislators on the committee.

Deb Wells, National Member Services Director for Campaign for Liberty testified that a 2007 audit shows nearly 700 people a day are being added to the watch lists. She fears she might be on the watch list and could be detained at a simple traffic stop. It appears nearly impossible to remove your name from the watch list due to the way the information is shared worldwide. "Will I be put in jail for 60 days because I believe in the 2nd amendment or because I supported Chuck Baldwin for President?"

Larry Flinchpaugh, a Buchanan county volunteer for Campaign for Liberty, testified "I was appalled and insulted to read that I was being profiled as possibly belonging to a subversive group simply because of my political activism." Flinchpaugh, an author from St Joe Missouri further testified "I believe that our government should (1) abide by the Constitution, (2) adopt sound monetary policies by abolishing the private and unconstitutional Federal Reserve and Fractional Reserve Banking and the 16th amendment authorizing income taxes to be collected on our wages, (3) stop being the policeman of the world and bring our troops home from most of the hundreds of military bases around the world, (4) respect the sovereignty of the individual states, and (5) recognize that a government that governs "least" governs" best." Does this sound like a description of a "Militia Movement" member or "Terrorist" or a "Patriotic American" who believes like our founding fathers?"

Paul Hamby, a Missouri Coordinator for Campaign for Liberty testified "Political Profiling discourages free speech. Beyond the constitutional issues, we need to look at the Big Picture. How will we ever find the best solutions to the issues facing our country today, if we cannot have Honest Open Debates?" Hamby praised Missouri Highway Patrolmen, then testified that the MIAC report hurt the department's credibility. Will Missouri Law enforcement take these reports seriously next time? What if the next report is a real threat of the next Timothy McVeigh?" Hamby held up John Ashcroft's book "Never Again" and told the committee "Never Again shall Missouri Government profile our citizens based on their political beliefs"

72 Fusion centers have been set up across the United States. They are funded by the Dept of Homeland Security with a 2009 budget of 274 million dollars. Rep. Brian D. Nieves expressed concern that this was another case of the Federal Government telling us how to run our state. "The risk is that we start these projects with federal dollars and then 2 or 3 years later the federal government comes along with mandates tied to the money."

The House committee will hold one more hearing for public testimony.

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